October 13, 2019 - 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Our focus this week is upon our remembrance of the many good things God has given us and done for us and our thankfulness for His great goodness!
Two of our readings this Sunday retell stories of two men afflicted with Leprosy who come first to Elisha, a man of God, and in the Gospel to Jesus, to be cured. Both men are foreigners, which is to say they are not Jewish, and we see the salvation of God reaching out beyond Israel to ALL. Both men are cured and both return to praise and thank God for their healing.
In the reading from 2 Kings the Syrian man, Naaman, is at first reluctant to do as Elisha instructs him, dip himself in the Jordan river 7 times, because he is expecting some astonishing miracle and not some mundane cure. He, however, does as he is told and is completely cured! His joy and gratefulness transform him and cause him to pledge his devotion to the ONE TRUE GOD! Naaman takes a shovel of dirt home with him intending to build an altar to God on that very dirt because he will only worship and make sacrifice to God alone! Naaman will never forget the salvation of God and he devotes his life to God in gratitude!
In the Gospel reading 10 people with leprosy call out to Jesus to have pity on them and to cure them. Jesus cures them and tells them to go and show themselves to the priests. ONE of the ten comes running back to Jesus, a Samaritan man, and knelt in front of Him and thanked him for healing him! Jesus says to the man, “Weren’t all 10 people healed? Where are the other 9? Why has only one person come back to thank God? And this man is a foreigner!” Again, God’s salvation is reaching out beyond Israel to all nations. Again, the Samaritan cured of leprosy returns to God in gratitude for the gift of healing bestowed upon him!
Leprosy was a horrible, contagious and disfiguring disease. Those who contracted leprosy were outcasts in society because the disease was contagious. Untreated the disease resulted in open sores, disfigurement, blindness, and even loss of parts of the body, and ultimately death. Lepers (those with leprosy) could not live within society, they were unclean and a danger to others.
Today leprosy is treated and cured with multiple drug therapy, and people with leprosy (now called Hansen’s disease) live normal lives. Gifts from God can come directly or indirectly to us and for all that God does for us we need to remember to be grateful and say, “Thank you!” Our thankfulness is a form of worship to God.
...All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands:
break into song; sing praise.
The Lord Has Revealed to the Nations His Saving Power